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Please reach out if you have any comments or questions! Scroll down to meet our staff and get in touch.

Nanaimo Art Gallery
150 Commercial Street
Nanaimo, British Columbia
CANADA V9R 5G6
+1 (250) 754-1750


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Our Staff

Carolyn

Carolyn Holmes

Executive Director
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Carolyn Holmes

Born in England, Carolyn (she/her) moved to Southern Ontario at the age of three and spent her childhood drawing. She has worked in art galleries since she was a teenager. Carolyn brought her love of art education to the territory of Lheidli T’enneh where she lived and worked for 20 years.  Carolyn moved to Snuneymuxw territory and joined the team at Nanaimo Art Gallery in 2020. She has a passion for community engagement and believes strongly in the potential of art galleries to connect people. Mother to Nathaniel and Nicholas and partner to Bill, Carolyn enjoys spending time outside gardening, hiking, kayaking and exploring the island. Her “not-so” guilty pleasure is reality TV.

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Jesse

Jesse Birch

Curator
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Jesse Birch

Jesse Birch (he/him) is a curator, writer, educator, and artist who was born and raised here on Snuneymuxw territory. He is grateful to be able to live in this dynamic and beautiful place that has been stewarded by the Snuneymuxw people since time immemorial. Jesse has lived in Vancouver, Seoul, Kyoto, and Amsterdam, and in 2014 he returned to the Island with his partner and son to reconnect with his home community and join the team at Nanaimo Art Gallery. Jesse has been active as a curator since 2001. He sees curating as both a job and a collaborative practice that brings artists and artworks into relation with people, places, and histories. Jesse also has an emerging practice as a potter, and has been an avid skateboarder for 35 years.

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Aisha

Aisha Hamis

Director of Learning & Engagement
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Aisha Hamis

Aisha (she/her) was born in Ontario in Robinson-Huron Treaty territory, and grew up in Burlington on the treaty lands and territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation. Her love of teaching started as a teenager, working as a lifeguard and swimming instructor, and has only grown since then. As a gallery educator she encourages people of all ages to have fun making, and engaging with art. She moved to Snuneymuxw territory in May of 2021, and enjoys spending time at community events, playing board games, escaping from rooms, solving murder mysteries, finding new benches to read on, and watching reality tv.

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Rowen Warrilow

Director of Development and Communications
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Rowen Warrilow

Rowen, a native of Owen Sound on the Saugeen Ojibway Nation, encompassing the sister nations of Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation and Saugeen First Nation, has woven a rich tapestry of experiences that led her on a journey to find her sense of ‘home.’ Her quest took her to different parts of the globe, including China, Vietnam, Portugal, Spain, France, Newfoundland, and even Alberta for a spell.

Rowen’s first introduction to the west coast was Salt Spring Island, where they discovered that British Columbia was the place she could unequivocally call home. Through her ventures, she has come to realize that her true passion lies in roles that involve fostering community and connection, whether through the realms of food, education, or now, art. Rowen finds deep contentment in contributing to the building of vibrant communities.

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Yvonne

Yvonne Vander Kooi

Learning & Engagement Coordinator
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Yvonne Vander Kooi

Yvonne’s (she/her) teaching practice has embraced community, collaboration, education and public art. She joined the gallery team in 2014 and maintains an active studio practice working primarily with painting and drawing. Her work invites us to consider stories about people, places, and movement that are both personal and universal. She has participated in numerous group and solo shows here on the island and has work in private and corporate collections. Born and raised in Ontario, she received her BFA in Michigan, and has lived in Toronto and Vancouver. She currently lives in Snuneymuxw territory with her family and two dogs. 

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Aarame

Aaramë Robillard

Administrative Coordinator
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Aaramë Robillard

As a poet, printmaker, arts administrator, and art collector, the arts permeate all aspects of Aaramë’s (she/her) life. Originally from Texada and the upper Sunshine Coast, she has called Nanaimo home since 1999. She is grateful for the privilege to spend her life on Tla’amin, Snuneymuxw, and other Coast Salish territories. Since 2008, she has operated a small home-based printmaking studio creating handmade serigraphs, intaglio etchings, and hand-bound books. She has taught printmaking workshops through Nanaimo Art Gallery, Vancouver Island University, Gabriola Isle of the Arts Festival, Ladysmith Waterfront Gallery, and private studio classes. She holds a Diploma of Visual Arts from Vancouver Island University (2013) and is an alumna of the Leadership Vancouver Island program. Aaramë brings over 20 years administrative management experience to Nanaimo Art Gallery, and has been a part of the Nanaimo arts community for over 10 years, previously working with Crimson Coast Dance and Centre for the Arts Nanaimo. She is a strong advocate of the power of art to create bonds, build communities, and transform lives. She is also passionate about growing her personal collection of works on paper, including hand-bound and limited edition books, original prints and letterpress broadsheets.

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Mary Anne

Mary Anne Molcan

Visitor Services & Retail Coordinator
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Mary Anne Molcan

Mary Anne Molcan (she/her) was born in Kristapinanihk, which in Cree translates to ‘Great Meeting Place’. Located along the shores of the North Saskatchewan River, it was a place of social gatherings for ceremony and trade. She feels very grateful to now live, work, and play on the ancestral lands of the Snuneymuxw Coast Salish people in the valley beneath Wakesiah. When she is not welcoming people to the gallery,  she is a local artist with a current focus in two-dimensional media: printmaking, drawing, and painting. She holds a BA in Visual Arts with a minor in Psychology from Vancouver Island University. Her practice explores the intersection between the natural world and human values. She also loves to write and has published a story called ‘The Strength of Vulnerability’ in Chicken Soup for the Soul.

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bailey macabre

Indigenous Engagement Coordinator
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bailey macabre

bailey is a nehiyaw ayahkwew / michif / ukrainian with matrilineal ties to Beardy’s & Okemasis Cree Nation in Duck Lake, Saskatchewan, born in Nanaimo, on beautiful Snuneymuxw territory. they love working in a place that engages the community in a positive and welcoming way, while respecting the land and the host nations who have been here since time immemorial. bailey is an interdisciplinary artist and you can follow them along at @cedarsageskoden on Instagram.

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Skyler Dietze

Gallery Technician
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Skyler Dietze

Skyler Dietze is a designer, woodworker, and lifelong athlete raised in Edmonton, Alberta. He’s a big fan of rugby, boxing, and hockey- particularly passionate about the Oilers! As the Gallery Technician, he installs and maintains the exhibits to ensure visitors have a rewarding and safe experience with the artwork that impacts our community. Since his studies of Industrial Design at the University of Alberta, Skyler has been active in making wooden furniture, retail signage, and creative film sets. In 2023 he was contracted by MrBeast, the largest YouTube channel in the world, as Team Lead of the Prop & Set Design Department. One of the biggest sets he coordinated was “Ages 1-100 Fight For $500,000” which has achieved more than 300M views! Skyler continues his design practices at the Nanaimo Makerspace and hopes to share his creations at the many upcoming artisan fairs that the Island has to offer.

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Dana

Dana Gage

Marketing & Communications Coordinator
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Dana Gage

Dana Gage (she/her) grew up on the lands of the K’ómoks people and now lives on Stz’uminus territory with her husband, two daughters where they all love to explore Vancouver Island and beyond. She has worked in galleries, museums and non-profit organizations in Greater Vancouver and Vancouver Island for the past 20 years and loves connecting with creative and passionate people. She looks forward to building relationships between Nanaimo Art Gallery and the larger community. When she gets a minute to herself you might find her listening to a mystery audiobook in her flower and veggie garden!

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Jennifer

Jennifer Stewart Pierce

Visitor Services Representative
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Jennifer Stewart Pierce

Jennifer (she/her) started as a volunteer with Nanaimo Art Gallery in 2006. She has since joined the gallery as an employee and still volunteers. Jen has over ten years experience in clerical administration as well as assistant managerial experience. A writer and poet, she has been published in Quills Canadian Poetry Magazine, Synergy Magazine, Bard’s Ink, and had her work showcased on various online publications. In the past Jen has assisted with the editing of some gallery publications. She also took part in Nanaimo Art Gallery’s 2014 exhibition Ekphrasis: Writing the Collection.

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ćuý'ulhnamut

ćuý’ulhnamut

Nanaimo Art Gallery is situated in the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of Snuneymuxw First Nations, and we are grateful to operate on Snuneymuxw territory.

ćuý'ulhnamut

ćuý'ulhnamut

Nanaimo Art Gallery is situated in the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of Snuneymuxw First Nations, and we are grateful to operate on Snuneymuxw territory.